LUBBOCK, Texas – The promised pitching duel lived up to expectations as Texas Tech’s southpaw Chris Sadberry shut out College of Charleston over eight innings to out-duel Cougars’ righty Tyler Clarke 1-0 in the opening game of the Lubbock Super Regional on Saturday. Sadberry showed the stuff that earned him a sixth round draft pick by the Miami Marlins in the Major League Baseball draft this weekend.
Sadberry sat down the first six hitters he faced while Clarke took a few innings to settle in and those couple of innings wound up making the difference in the game.
The Red Raiders came after the 10-game winner in full attack mode as freshman Stephen Smith led off the game driving a single back up the box just missing Clarke’s glove. Junior second baseman Bryant Burleson laid down an excellent sacrifice bunt that was nearly a bunt single that moved Smith to second for a first-inning scoring threat.
Clarke then got a fly out before walking sophomore clean-up hitter Eric Gutierrez to put two on before getting senior Adam Kirsch to foul out on a running catch by Cougars’ first baseman Nick Pappas to end the inning.
College of Charleston would mount the next scoring threat in the third as red shirt junior Brandon Glazer doubled to the gap in left field and the ball rolled to the wall to start the third inning. Red shirt senior Ryan Welke moved Glazer to third with a sac bunt. Glazer delayed and would be thrown out at home trying to score on a grounder to Texas Tech short stop Tim Proudfoot by junior Champ Rowland.
The Red Raider would break through for the games’ only run in the third as Smith hit a one-out single up the middle and would steal second before being driven in by sophomore Tyler Nelsony’s triple that was misplayed by Cougars’ right fielder Glazer and bounced to the wall in right.
Clarke then retired 10 consecutive Red Raiders to keep the lead at 1-0 before scattering a pair of singles in the seventh and eighth. Sadberry retired nine straight before allowing a single in the seventh.
In the eighth Glazer would hit an infield single and would advance to second on an overthrow by freshman third baseman Ryan Long as he charged a slow roller and misfired on the throw to first. Welke would sacrifice Glazer to third for the second time in the game and again Rowland hits a weak grounder that was fielded by Sadberry and flipped to catcher Hunter Redmon to tag out Glazer who was running on contact.
Jonny Drozd pitched a perfect ninth inning in relief for Texas Tech as the Red Raider take game one and lead the Super Regional 1-0.